ZEISS is participating in a new public-private partnership with University of California Berkeley as part of the Brain Microscopy Innovation Center (BrainMIC), a component of the Berkeley BRAIN Initiative. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative was launched by President Obama in 2013 and is focused on revolutionizing understanding of the human brain, with the goal of helping researchers uncover the mysteries of such brain disorders as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression and traumatic brain injury.
ZEISS has delivered a variety of high performance microscopes and imaging systems. Equipment installed in phase one of the multi-phase project includes ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan multiphoton confocal microscope, ZEISS LSM 880 confocal microscope with OPO capabilities, as well as ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1 light sheet imaging system with special optics for cleared tissue samples, and ZEISS Axio Scan.Z1 digital slide scanning system. ZEISS will provide the latest updates of the equipment, while UC Berkeley researchers will offer feedback on any new or special neurotechnology needs to help ZEISS produce future products best suited for the newest advances in neuroscience research endeavors.
According to Holly Aaron, Manager of the BrainMIC, the BrainMIC was established as a resource for the neuroscience community, with the goal of overcoming one of the BRAIN Initiative’s major challenges—making new tools accessible to the broad community. She said, “There has been a rapid advance in the optical tools available to detect and control neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. These powerful tools are an important and exciting step toward deciphering the neuronal circuits that command essential brain functions, such as perception, movement, and memory. However, for these tools to yield breakthrough discoveries there is a need for commercially available microscopes that are optimized for use with emerging neurotechnologies. ZEISS’s participation will help us meet that need.”